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Journals from Hong Kong Baptist University

2012-12-10 Playing Tourist

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Big Buddha; Lantau Isaland, Hong Kong

I am now in the final two weeks of my semester in Hong Kong. Time has gone by so fast--I remember when I first arrived here there were so many things I wanted to do, but I always told myself "there’s no rush, I have four months." If only I could go back in time and correct myself. My experiences here have been life changing and once in a lifetime, and it’s so sad to think that in exactly two weeks I will be boarding a plane to return to Oregon.

We have two weeks of final examinations before the end of the semester. Some of the main differences between exams here and at Linfield are the exam period (two weeks instead of one), the location of the exams in a different place from where the class is held (and you are assigned seats), and it is possible to have an exam on a Saturday (one of my exams is in fact on a Saturday from 5-7pm).

While the majority of my time for the past three weeks has been spent finishing assignments and studying for exams, I have spent the past several weekends playing tourist and doing some final sightseeing. One of the places I recently visited was the Big Buddha, which is the world's largest bronze Buddha and is located on Lantau Island. To get to the island from Hong Kong you have to first take the MTR to a stop about 35 minutes away from Kowloon City where HKBU is located. From the MTR you then take a cable car to the island (about a 25-minute ride). The most enjoyable part about the cable car is that the floor of the car is made of see-through plastic so you have a 360-degree view of everything for the entire ride.

Hong Kong is a huge city with millions of people and many sites and sounds; once you leave the city, skyscrapers and taxis are replaced by mountains and clear skies. These are the areas of Hong Kong that I love because they remind me the most of my hometown of Portland, Oregon. I love the contrast of settings that Hong Kong provides and while sometimes it feels strange to be playing tourist in a city that I have lived in for over three months now, I don’t mind it so much here because it gives me an excuse to leave the land of tall buildings and crowded sidewalks.

Cheers from Hong Kong,

Erin Dunlap

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